Latest research shows these foods may help with sun damage and prevent skin cells becoming cancerous

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New research published in Experimental Dermatology has found that certain foods including fish oils, spirulina and green tea extracts and soy isoflavones supplements may reduce the effects of photocarcinogenesis, which can lead to skin cancer, as well as sunburn and photoaging.

Year-round UV damage is responsible for 80% of skin ageing and 90% of melanoma. Over 80% of the damage that leads to skin cancer takes place before the age of 18.

The study researched the effect of certain nutrients in hairless mice and found that “the prospects for practical nutraceutical down-regulation of photocarcinogenesis, sunburn, and photoaging appear favourable.”

The study supports other research which found that sunburn response is markedly reduced by dietary fish oil rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Alexa Mullane is a nutritionist and nutritional adviser to sustainable fish oil brand Wiley’s Finest. She says: “The best form of action to prevent sun damage is to apply high factor mineral sunscreen regularly and liberally, as well as staying in the shade between 11am-3pm. This is especially important for babies and children. However, this research is fascinating as it shows that nutrition may play a factor in protecting our skin against sun damage, photoaging and skin cancer.  

“If your skin is overexposed to the sun, the damage will cause inflammation. Help to mitigate the effects of this inflammation and reduce the effects of sunburn by taking a regular, high-dose omega-3 supplement – which are known for their anti-inflammatory benefits. It is important to look for a high-quality, potent fish oil such as Wiley’s Finest that is sustainably sourced so that you can protect your own health, as well as that of the ocean.”

“It’s also exciting to hear that foods like spirulina and green tea, which we already know are packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, can help to protect our skin against sun damage. When buying these products, look for organic versions like Organic Traditions spirulina  and Clear Spring organic matcha, this will ensure that the products are the best quality and will have the highest levels of antioxidants for maximum skin protection.” 

One in seven of the UK population still do not use sunscreen. The British Skin Foundation states that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK. It says there are two main types of skin cancer; melanoma and non-melanoma. Melanomas are less common than non-melanoma skin cancers, but they are one of the most dangerous forms of skin cancer. They can develop from existing moles, but they more often appear as new marks on the skin. 

Melanomas can appear on any part of the skin but they are most common in men on the body, and in women on the legs. 

The cancer charity Melanoma UK states the number of people developing melanoma is rising and it is now the fifth most common cancer in the UK. Approximately 16,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with melanoma each year, though 86% of melanoma cases in the UK are preventable.

In the UK, the risk of melanoma increases with age, however the number of melanoma cases diagnosed in young people is disproportionately high. In fact, melanoma is one of the most common cancers in people aged 15–34.


Nutraceutical strategies for alleviation of UVB phototoxicity – PubMed (

Dietary fish oil reduces basal and ultraviolet B-generated PGE2 levels in skin and increases the threshold to provocation of polymorphic light eruption – PubMed (

The post Latest research shows these foods may help with sun damage and prevent skin cells becoming cancerous appeared first on Wellbeing Magazine.

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